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Carol Ashby Books In Order

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Publication Order of Light in the Empire Books

Forgiven (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Blind Ambition (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Legacy (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Faithful (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Second Chances (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
True Freedom (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hope Unchained (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Honor Bound (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hope's Reward (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
More Than Honor (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
What Matters Most (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Truth and Honor (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon
Crushed Hopes and Hopeful Beginnings (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Carol Ashby
Carol Ashby is a biblical fiction author known for her Light in the Empire series. Her debut novel, Forgiven, was first published in 2016. In this book, the author takes you back to the Roman empire, where greed and anger were the order of the day, and some would kill their kin for wealth. Fortunately, there are those who believed in Jesus and taught love in a world filled with misery. Ashby’s writing style is outstanding, and it is impressive how she draws you in and makes her characters so relatable. From her writing, it is clear that the author is knowledgeable of the bible and most of the teachings that apply to modern societies.

Forgiven comes first in the Light in the Empire series. The book introduces Marcus Drusus, a young man planning to kill for family inheritance just like his father did. To accomplish his goal, Marcus goes after his brother Lucius in Judaea with a solid plot in mind. However, his plan goes wrong when Lucius is rescued by a Jewish woman named Racheal. While a roman soldier is responsible for Racheal’s twin’s death, this woman persuades her father to forget about his anger and hide Lucius until he is well again. This is not a simple request, but the grieving father puts his love for Jesus above everything else and agrees to his daughter’s request.

Racheal cares for Lucius, who is regarded as the enemy until he is healed. These two start developing feelings for each other with prompts Lucius to embrace this family’s faith. However, a shared faith will not heal some of the wounds inflicted for generations. Joseph doesn’t want a Roman for a son-in-law, and when new secrets are uncovered, they trigger old wounds that threaten to tear the lovebirds apart. Can Lucius prove himself to Joseph while staying ahead of a brother who will do everything to see him dead? Can love heal all the wrongs of the past?

This is a powerful story about love and forgiveness. Set in the Roman era, this book introduces several heroic characters, including two young boys and a compassionate woman. You will also enjoy meeting a Roman soldier who finds salvation after receiving care and love from the most unexpected people. There is a good number of Jews who only want to worship Jesus and live in peace and Romans who are fraught with anger and tension. It is incredible how many times some of the characters in this book forgive those who wrong them. The story will tug at your heartstrings and make you rethink your life. Would you easily forgive someone who brought you this much grief?

Forgiven introduces four roman families whose lives are connected in so many ways. The book also introduces Jews who love Jesus and obey him even when it is not easy. For example, Joseph is a man who will go to great lengths to protect his family, but he obeys the teachings of Jesus when a Roman soldier crosses his path. The story of these people will hold your interest to the end, and you cannot help but wonder what will happen to them next. While this book is part of a series, you will still enjoy the book as a standalone. The writing is outstanding, and the teachings will stay with you long after you are done reading.

Blind Ambition
Blind Ambition is the second installment in the Light in the Empire series. In this book, we meet Valeria, a young woman with unshakable faith and a heart of gold. It is 114 AD, and Christianity is prohibited. Anyone who practices this faith knows that it comes with a death sentence as declared by the emperor. Despite these persecutions, there are those who believe in Jesus and refuse to give up on their faith. Tribute Decimus Lentulus is building his way into a successful political career in Rome. When this man is attacked by robbers who leave him for the dead, a young German woman comes to his rescue.
Valeria is a Christian, and she is aware of Jesus’s command to love everyone, including the enemy. With this teaching in mind, Valeria takes Decimus home and nurses him back to health. Decimus is surprised by his quick recovery. However, what shakes him is the unconditional love he receives from a family that knows what he stands for. Staying so close to Valeria throughout his recovery stirs something in Decimus, and it doesn’t take long for him to fall in love with her. Can their relationship thrive, considering all that is working against them? Is it possible for Valeria to hide her faith so she can fit in the Roman circles, or will Decimus be forced to abandon his ambition?

This story shows the power of love and grace. Through the Christian family that takes care of him in his time of need, Decimus learns a lot about himself and others like him. You will get to witness his transformation from a tough Roman upcoming leader to a man who understands the love of Jesus. Valeria is an amazing woman. She takes care of Decimus, her younger siblings, and everyone around her feels her dedication to her faith. Other characters that you may grow to love include Gaius and her sister. Their antics will leave you with a smile on your face, and it is impressive how well they are developed.
Blind Ambition tells the story of a man and a woman from two different worlds and the strings that connect them. This story takes you back to the Hadrian and Trajan reigns when freedom of worship was foreign. You will enjoy meeting the characters and seeing how a simple act of kindness can change even the most stubborn heart. If you are looking for a beautiful story on forgiveness and redemption, this book is a perfect choice. It is fun meeting the early Christians in the Roman empire and seeing how they handled the challenges that came their way.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Carol Ashby

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